A brain wide circuit model of heat evoked swimming behavior in larval zebrafish


December 6, 2017 - 1:00pm
Northwest Building, Room 243
About the Speaker
Martin Haesemeyer
Speaker Title: 
Post-doctoral Fellow, Engert & Schier Lab

Thermosensation and in particular heat evoked swimming behavior is important and adaptive for zebrafish larvae. Here, we established a tethered preparation that allows us to control heat delivery to the animal while monitoring motor output, thereby uncovering algorithmic and computational rules that couple dynamical heat-modulation into swimming behavior.

Concomitant whole-brain calcium imaging further allows the description of brain wide concerted neural activity during this behavior. Neuronal populations and cell types can thus be classified according to their correlation with sensory input, motor-output or combinations thereof.

To capture the most prominent aspects of the sensori-motor transformations we present an activity constrained dynamic circuit model, which can predict both behavior and neural activity in response to novel heat stimuli. It further allows the separation of the direct feedforward pathways from the regions and cell types showing correlated activity in distributed regions across several brain areas which might play a more indirect role in associative and contextual learning processes.